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of Mr. Peter Pett, the well-known financier, on
Riverside Drive is one of the leading eyesores
of that breezy and expensive boulevard. As you
pass by in your limousine, or while enjoying ten
cents worth of fresh air on top of a green
omnibus, it jumps out and bites at you.
Architects, confronted with it, reel and throw
up their hands defensively, and even the lay
observer has a sense of shock. The place
resembles in almost equal proportions a
cathedral, a suburban villa, a hotel and a
Chinese pagoda. Many of its windows are of
stained glass, and above the porch stand two
terra-cotta lions, considerably more repulsive
even than the complacent animals which guard New
York's Public Library. It is a house which is
impossible to overlook: and it was probably for
this reason that Mrs. Pett insisted on her
husband buying it, for she was a woman who liked
to be noticed.
Through the rich interior of this mansion Mr.
Pett, its nominal proprietor, was wandering like
a lost spirit. The hour was about ten of a fine
Sunday morning, but the Sabbath calm which was
upon the house had not communicated itself to
him. There was a look of exasperation on his
usually patient face, and a muttered oath,
picked up no doubt on the godless Stock
Exchange, escaped his lips...
Man Upstairs and other stories
THERE were three distinct stages in the
evolution of Annette Brougham's attitude towards
the knocking in the room above. In the beginning
it had been merely a vague discomfort. Absorbed
in the composition of her waltz, she had heard
it almost subconsciously. The second stage set
in when it became a physical pain like red-hot
pincers wrenching her mind from her music.
Finally, with a thrill in indignation, she knew
it for what it was—an insult. The unseen brute
disliked her playing, and was intimating his
views with a boot-heel.
Defiantly, with her foot on the loud pedal, she
struck—almost slapped—the keys once more.
'Bang!' from the room above. 'Bang! Bang!'
Annette rose. Her face was pink, her chin tilted.
Her eyes sparkled with the light of battle. She
left the room and started to mount the stairs.
No spectator, however just, could have helped
feeling a pang of pity for the wretched man who
stood unconscious of imminent doom, possibly
even triumphant, behind the door at which she
was on the point of tapping...
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